Faithful+Gould volunteers Ewan Peacock, Kristian Haagensen and James Mackay joined staff from Sunderland City Council and the construction consortium FVB JV to improve the habitat for fish and wildlife at Rainton Burn, near Houghton-le-Spring.
The team, under the direction of the Wear Rivers Trust, began by harvesting down lengths of willow growing nearby and using it to create a sustainable natural barrier in the banks. This proven method means the willow will continue to grow and take root, holding the banks together and creating a secure and rich habitat for a wide variety of local wildlife, including kingfishers, otters, fish and invertebrates.
The team also helped clean up the burn by removing litter and blockages to tidy the area and reduce the risk of pollution and flooding. David Abdy, Project Director of the New Wear Crossing project for Sunderland City Council, said: “We knew we’d be working close to the River Wear for the next couple of years, but we didn’t think we’d be in it.
“It was a great chance to get involved in a local project to help the ecosystem of the river and was an opportunity for the team to use their engineering experience on another local project.”
"The day on the river has really helped to build up important working relationships across the project and it was great to see everybody getting stuck in with a smile on their face!"
Kristian Haagensen, Faithful+Gould Senior Project Manager
The New Wear Crossing project was launched in May of this year and will see a new £100m bridge built across the River Wear. Faithful+Gould are providing project and cost management services for the project, part of a wider strategic transport plan, and is scheduled to open in 2018, helping to regenerate the area, relieve congestion and attract new jobs and investment to Sunderland.
Kristian, Senior Project Manager, said: “We needed to work with the Wear Rivers Trust to discharge one of our project planning conditions and we felt that this was a great opportunity for the client team and the contractor to work side by side. The day on the river has really helped to build up important working relationships across the project and it was great to see everybody getting stuck in with a smile on their face!”